Tom Levy, who is nicknamed Babe by his older brother Henry Levy, an oil executive who in turn is nicknamed Doc by Tom, is a Ph.D. candidate in History at Columbia University. He is also training to run a marathon. Tom is paying homage to his deceased father, H.B. Levy, in pursuing the same studies as him, his father who committed suicide while being under investigation solely for being a Jew. Tom's work doesn't sit well with Doc who wants Tom to move on with his life. While at Columbia, Tom meets and begins to date Elsa Opel, a foreign exchange student also in History. While out for a walk in Central Park late one day, Tom and Elsa are mugged, the unusual aspect of it being that their attackers were men in suits. Tom will learn that the mugging was not a random attack after someone close to Tom is found murdered, the deceased who was not who he purported to be. From here, Tom is thrown into an international plot concerning a WWII Nazi named Christian Szell in hiding, and a large cache... Written by
Laurence Olivier took the role of Szell in part to leave a great deal of money to his wife and children, as he expected to die from the cancer that afflicted him throughout production. He performed the role while undergoing treatment for his cancer, which included heavy doses of painkillers to allow him to work every day. The pain medication affected his memory and at times the actor could not remember more than one or two of his lines at a time. In a testament to the actor's fierce concentration, his performance garnered rave reviews and an Oscar nomination and despite working under such aggressive medical treatment, the actor experienced a full recovery allowing him to enjoy the success of this film and a series of leading roles that followed. See more »
When Doc "breaks" into Babe's apartment, Babe grabs a flashlight and shines it around the room. It is clearly on a fixed mount for the camera as the beam is way too steady as it's shown being moved around the room. See more »
[When Elsa leaves the library, Babe hesitates, and then runs after her. He finds her as she is climbing the stairs to her apartment and makes small talk, trying to prolong the conversation. When she keeps walking away, he bursts into an honest confession]
Look, I'm sorry I stole your book.
I took your book and put it underneath mine. I, I didn't know how to talk to you, I was embarrassed, so I took your book.
Aren't you embarrassed now?
Yeah. I'm, I'm humiliated.
So, why do you pursue ...
[...] See more »
The ending credits scroll with Babe's jogging route as a backdrop. See more »
I have always found this to be a very entertaining, involving, taut suspense movie with some very dramatic scenes. I've seen in three times and liked it better each time, particularly since it's been available on DVD which enhanced the sound from mono to stereo, and the 1.85:1 widescreen enhancing the cinematography.
I didn't find the infamous (this was quite a buzz when the film came out) dentist scene to be as terrifying as it was made up to be and the references to the McCarthy hearings are a bit annoying and typical of Hollywood director John Scheslinger. It's also a typical modern-day film in which the U.S government's police agencies are corrupt (oh, puhleeze, filmmakers - think of something new).
However, despite those negatives, the film is fascinating with no dry spots despite its two-hour length. There is a nice variety of action scenes and very interesting characters. Marthe Keller never looked better. Too bad she didn't make more movies in the U.S. Dustin Hoffman, as he did so well in the '70s, keeps your attention and Laurence Olivier is absolutely riveting. This is a terrific thriller, start to finish.
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